In a boost to the long-delayed Navi Mumbai international airport, the Tata Group has evinced interest to invest in the project. However, it has asked the aviation ministry for a modification of a restrictive clause before it can move ahead in the matter.
The Indian conglomerate already holds stakes in two Indian carriers, including a majority stake in Vistara which is to be launched soon.
The particular clause restrains airlines wanting to invest in the airport project from holding a seat on the board of management. "We request you to consider allowing at least associate companies of scheduled airlines or cargo airlines to appoint directors on the board in proportion to their equity," states the letter signed by senior officials of Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited. A copy of the letter addressed to aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa is with dna.'
"Any schedule airline, cargo airline or its associate who would participate in the bidding process and infuse capital investment to the tune of Rs19,000 crore or more, would be interested to ensure that its investment is secured and, therefore, would require to actively participate in the company's affairs, including in day-to-day decisions taken by the board of the company," they said. The ministry has yet to respond to the letter.
The company also stated that such a move could not lead to any kind of favoritism to any particular airline as the Competition Commission of India could monitor and ensure equal status to all airlines.
The ministry recently decided to push ahead with the Navi Mumbai airport on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and to raise 26 per cent of the equity from airlines, up from the 10 per cent that was previously set for PPP airports.